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Beginner recommendation

#1
Hi guys!
I'm Mikah and this is my first post here. I'm a coffee enthusiast and I'd like to start making my own specialty drinks at home so I'm looking for some recommendations before purchasing an espresso machine.
From what i can see most of you recommend Gaggia and Lelit, but I'd like to mention that I only drink Cappuccinos and other milk based drinks. I can't stomach black coffee in any way. Currently i'm looking for an entry level espresso machine, nothing too complicated or expensive since I probably won't be able to take it back home with me when I leave Romania in a couple of years.

I do not own a grinder but I can purchase one.

I asked opinions from a US based community but some of the machines they suggest aren't available here or the cost is very high in comparison.

So far I looked at a Wacaco Picopresso, Flair Pro 2 and Breville Bambino Plus. I dont need something for travel, I simply looked into easy to use, beginner friendly not too pricey options.

Feel free to ask me for more details. I'm not sure how to best describe what I'm looking for other that what I mentioned above..

Thank you all!
 
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#2
Welcome!

Please consider also Staresso Mirage machine, as a worthy alternative to Picopresso and Flair in your list above.
 
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#3
Did you tried V60…? I think that is more friendly with your stomach.
Less expensive, less investments.
PL41TEM, Eureka Mignon Specialita, M47 Phoenix, ibric, AeroPress, Kompresso... and V60/Hario Buono
 
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#4
(20-05-2023, 18:45)Mihai L Wrote: Did you tried V60…? I think that is more friendly with your stomach.
Less expensive, less investments.

Yes , i tried one time and the barista suggested i don't add any sugar to it as it would ruin the experience. I didn't like it, could not even drink half of it but i didn't want to insult them Smile

I didn't try V60 with any milk though.

(20-05-2023, 16:52)renatoa Wrote: Welcome!

Please consider also Staresso Mirage machine, as a worthy alternative to Picopresso and Flair in your list above.

Thank you! I'll look into it, much appreciated!
 
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#5
No milk in V60, definitely…
But you can search for a coffee shop known for a good V60.
Not everywhere you can get a good coffee.
PL41TEM, Eureka Mignon Specialita, M47 Phoenix, ibric, AeroPress, Kompresso... and V60/Hario Buono
 
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#6
(20-05-2023, 18:45)Mihai L Wrote: Did you tried V60…? I think that is more friendly with your stomach.
Less expensive, less investments.

From the info I have read so far, espresso is the way to go for mininum impact on the stomach: https://www.wellandgood.com/best-coffee-...e-stomach/

Also, my experience goes in the same direction. Stopped drinking coffee on an empty stomach for some time now, anyway.

Milk drinks are probably even better than straight espresso for this purpose.

Cheapest very good grinder is probably Kinu Simplicity, use the forum's groupbuy that is organized from time to time for a nice discount.
Honne, Wilfa Uniform + SSP, Aergrind, Bezzera Aria
 
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#7
You cannot compare two ways to make coffee only from time perspective…
There is temperature, grinding size, pressure, roast…

I usually drink V60 on empty stomach (usually I eat in the evening), while I cannot drink espresso in the same way… And we are talking about ~360ml vs ~30ml
PL41TEM, Eureka Mignon Specialita, M47 Phoenix, ibric, AeroPress, Kompresso... and V60/Hario Buono
 
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#8
(21-05-2023, 00:39)Mihai L Wrote: I usually drink V60 on empty stomach (usually I eat in the evening), while I cannot drink espresso in the same way… And we are talking about ~360ml vs ~30ml

I know. I just wanted to provide information that I read. And this info kind of matches my subjective experience, of course Smile. I gave up intermittent fasting (not eating in the morning) because drinking coffee on an empty stomach (been doing this for about an year) just didn't feel right. No case of acid, no scientific proof that stomach lining gets hurt over a short time or long time, but you know, absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
Honne, Wilfa Uniform + SSP, Aergrind, Bezzera Aria
 
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#9
(20-05-2023, 23:36)Mihai L Wrote: No milk in V60, definitely…
But you can search for a coffee shop known for a good V60.
Not everywhere you can get a good coffee.

Yeah, i thought as much. Since he already gave me the stare when i attempted to add some sugar i didn't want to push my luck by asking for milk Big Grin
Still, i love cappuccinos and lattes, i only use soy & almond milk anyway.. Unfortunately i'm in a small city and there aren't many good coffee shops. At home i use a simple drip coffee maker and it's pretty bad, so i decided to stop wasting my money on single origin or microlot grounds and look for a better way to make my own drinks.

Do you know any good coffee shops where i could try a proper V60? I'm in Pitesti but i travel to Bucharest often!

(21-05-2023, 00:28)cradun Wrote:
(20-05-2023, 18:45)Mihai L Wrote: Did you tried V60…? I think that is more friendly with your stomach.
Less expensive, less investments.

From the info I have read so far, espresso is the way to go for mininum impact on the stomach: https://www.wellandgood.com/best-coffee-...e-stomach/

Also, my experience goes in the same direction. Stopped drinking coffee on an empty stomach for some time now, anyway.

Milk drinks are probably even better than straight espresso for this purpose.

Cheapest very good grinder is probably Kinu Simplicity, use the forum's groupbuy that is organized from time to time for a nice discount.

I can't drink coffee on an empty stomach, not a big breakfast person but even so much as a cereal bar helps. Everyone's different Smile 

From what i heard the grinder is very important so i'm thinking to get something better since a manual grinder is easy to transport anyways. I was looking at these Royal Grinder by Flair , 1Z presso Q2, Staresso Discovery D-6 - any good?
This only leaves me with the actual espresso machine dilemma.
 
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#10
How do you plan to froth the milk? You would need a separate device if you're going for something fully manual like Flair or Staresso. With Gaggia or Lelit you have the steam wand for this.
GCP Gaggiuino | Timemore Sculptor 078s | Kinu M47 | Timemore Kettle & Black Mirror | V60
 
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#11
For a manual espresso grinder, there is no reason not to go with Kinu Simplicity (1050 ron if you have the patience to wait for the group buy), both from the point of view of ergonomy, construction quality and grind quality.

I have sold mine because I use an electric grinder, but have been a user of Kinu Simplicity. I don't think that, for this money, you could get something better. (Maybe a second-hand Arco, but I have never used one of those).

With Flair, I would not recommend going anywhere below Flair 58, because lack of group heating is a deal breaker taste-wise, at least for me.

@renatoa is pleased from the taste he gets with the Staresso Mirage. I have used a similar device (to the Staresso Mirage), the 1zpresso Y3 and the taste is not what it should be (for me).
Honne, Wilfa Uniform + SSP, Aergrind, Bezzera Aria
 
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#12
There is an Arco manual grinder right now for sale on the marketplace.
It is at least at par with Kinu as build, using very similar burrs, and for the 750 lei price it's a steal.
 
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#13
(21-05-2023, 19:19)dan184 Wrote: How do you plan to froth the milk? You would need a separate device if you're going for something fully manual like Flair or Staresso. With Gaggia or Lelit you have the steam wand for this.

I was considering buying a separate frother , either manual or electric. It seems easier to clean as well, i don't want to have to take the whole thing apart every time  just to clean the steamer.
Is the Gaggia / Lelit easy to maintain?
 
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#14
For Gaggia/Lelit you have only to rinse the wand and let few seconds the steam/hot water to flow outside (to clean inside the wand).
You can’t get easier.
PL41TEM, Eureka Mignon Specialita, M47 Phoenix, ibric, AeroPress, Kompresso... and V60/Hario Buono
 
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#15
You don't have to take anything apart. The machine is just pushing hot air from the wand, all you have to do is a towel wipe and a short flush. I bet those separate devices are a lot harder to clean. I think you should watch some youtube videos on how these espresso machines work. Search for the Gaggia Classic Pro or Lelit PL41TEM.
GCP Gaggiuino | Timemore Sculptor 078s | Kinu M47 | Timemore Kettle & Black Mirror | V60
 
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#16
I'm not sure about v60 but decent coffee you can serve decent coffee at
Artizan (
https://maps.app.goo.gl/PJU4Z9eQsdTZGV51A). I never tried Cafegiu but it's near
https://maps.app.goo.gl/DLJUvbaQJFqq4Xqi7

Artizan gets the coffee from Ecuator Caffe, a local roaster with a pretty decent coffee. If you'll ever be in need for some coffee give them a call.
There might be others but I don't stay that much in Pitești.
AFAIK there used to be one near or at hotel Victoria that got the beans from dropshot (along other things, like espresso equipment).

Now, more on topic. Every time I am there I use a Gaggia classic with stainless steel boiler (the bad one they say). Honestly it is a pretty decent machine and you can clearly make good cappuccinos. Used ones are around 500-600ron.

That one was made there, on that Gaggia. If you'll be around in a month or so I can give you an intro. [Image: 31b6807828150b5e4d8351fc9300cc70.jpg]
Espressor: Lelit Bianca / Gaggia Classic 2017 | Past: Lelit Mara / Nuova Simonelli Oscar II / Lelit PL41TEM
Rasnita:  Kopi Deva / Lelit PL72 William / Kinu M47 / Arco 2 in 1
 
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#17
(22-05-2023, 18:54)dan184 Wrote: You don't have to take anything apart. The machine is just pushing hot air from the wand, all you have to do is a towel wipe and a short flush. I bet those separate devices are a lot harder to clean. I think you should watch some youtube videos on how these espresso machines work. Search for the Gaggia Classic Pro or Lelit PL41TEM.

I saw some videos where they were taking literally everything apart every week to clean it. I don't have the time for that so that's why i asked. If it's that much easier, then i'm all for it!

(22-05-2023, 21:52)vlaicu Wrote: I'm not sure about v60 but decent coffee you can serve decent coffee at
Artizan (
https://maps.app.goo.gl/PJU4Z9eQsdTZGV51A). I never tried Cafegiu but it's near
https://maps.app.goo.gl/DLJUvbaQJFqq4Xqi7

Artizan gets the coffee from Ecuator Caffe, a local roaster with a pretty decent coffee. If you'll ever be in need for some coffee give them a call.
There might be others but I don't stay that much in Pitești.
AFAIK there used to be one near or at hotel Victoria that got the beans from dropshot (along other things, like espresso equipment).

Now, more on topic. Every time I am there I use a Gaggia classic with stainless steel boiler (the bad one they say). Honestly it is a pretty decent machine and you can clearly make good cappuccinos. Used ones are around 500-600ron.

That one was made there, on that Gaggia. If you'll be around in a month or so I can give you an intro. [Image: 31b6807828150b5e4d8351fc9300cc70.jpg]
 Looks good! I'll be around for 2 years or so.. I'll try Artisan, never been there but it's nearby!

Thanks for the info! I'm interested in a new espresso machine, not that strapped for cash but i can't really splurge either Big Grin

(21-05-2023, 19:31)cradun Wrote: For a manual espresso grinder, there is no reason not to go with Kinu Simplicity (1050 ron if you have the patience to wait for the group buy), both from the point of view of ergonomy, construction quality and grind quality.

I have sold mine because I use an electric grinder, but have been a user of Kinu Simplicity. I don't think that, for this money, you could get something better. (Maybe a second-hand Arco, but I have never used one of those).

With Flair, I would not recommend going anywhere below Flair 58, because lack of group heating is a deal breaker taste-wise, at least for me.

@renatoa is pleased from the taste he gets with the Staresso Mirage. I have used a similar device (to the Staresso Mirage), the 1zpresso Y3 and the taste is not what it should be (for me).

I would definitely like to try some coffee made with Flair. It's an interesting concept, that's for sure! I am considering it and also the grinder.
 
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